Press Release: Kevin Schwantz Denounces CotA Statement, Says He Brought MotoGP To Austin

Kevin Schwantz issued the following statement today, in response to previous statements made by the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, about the Grand Prix of the Americas, to be held at the Austin track on 21st April:


SCHWANTZ RESPONSE TO CotA STATEMENT

"Last week, Circuit of the Americas (CotA) issued a statement suggesting I had nothing to do with bringing MotoGP to Austin. Unlike others who have had disputes with CotA, I am free to speak my mind. So let me set the record straight: I am the reason MotoGP is coming to Texas and no one currently associated with CotA had anything to do with the design of the actual race track. There's no shortage of evidence to prove these facts.

On February 2, 2011, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta sent me a letter confirming that 3FourTexasMGP, my company, is the ‘sole rights holder for MotoGP in the state of Texas for the years 2013-2022.’ On February 3, 2011, Comptroller Susan Combs sent a letter to me and Mr. Ezpeleta confirming that the MotoGP U.S. Grand Prix would be included in the state’s Event Trust Fund beginning in 2013. In that letter, the state comptroller explained that the annual funding would be sent to 3fourTexasMGP, 'the rights holder for all MotoGP events in Texas.' On April 12, 2011, at the request of the state comptroller a press conference was held announcing that MotoGP was on its way to Texas. Finally, on July 22, 2011, Mr. Ezpeleta sent a letter to the state Comptroller saying that 'both Kevin (Schwantz) and I are positive that the measured success of our events in Texas will be fantastic for both the state of Texas and MotoGP.’ (see links: http://schwantzschool.com/images/pdfs/documents.pdf and http://schwantzschool.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90 and http://schwantzschool.com/images/pdfs/Austin-track-design.pdf )

I have spent too much time and money the past five years on this project, including helping the Comptroller during the 2011 Legislative session and CotA in raising money, for me to sit by and allow this repeated misinformation to continue. CotA's attempt to downplay my involvement with Austin's MotoGP event is silly, but some of the group's other actions may verge on something far more serious. It is my belief that just like the F1 event, they are attempting to rewrite history in an effort to qualify for one of the Texas Event Trust Funds."

2013

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Comments

Thrilled to see his aggressive riding style is spilling over into this matter. Someone here suggested that Kevin was a good racer but a poor business man. We can't know that eithe way. What we do know is that If someone is intent on defrauding you and negotiating in bad faith, it doesn't matter how good you are at business.

I just hope he doesn't over-play his hand and hurt his day in court.

Just in case others like me have not heard of a "Comptroller"

[from Wiki]
A comptroller is a management level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization.

I live in TX so let me explain the Comptroller's office.

That office is responsible for all the tax gathering of the state, from sales tax to various other taxes. The comptroller is responsible for making sure the state gets their due. They do forecasting, work with the state legislature on a regular basis so that our state government knows how much money is available for things such as education, etc.

The state event fund, as referenced by Kevin, is a fund available for once a year sporting events. The state, if approved, kicks in available money (from the tax base) for the event for promotion or assistance, what have you. They do this because events such as this bring in lots of revenue in the form of visitors from in/out of state. From hotel taxes, hire car taxes, etc. So the state kicks in X amount (I think the yearly budget is 1.5 million or something like that IIRC, but I dont' remember the exact # off the top of my head) in assistance knowing that they'll get this money back in the form of sales tax, hotel tax, etc, because the event brings in so many visitors. The comptroller controls this fund since tax revenues fund it. That office approves or denies requests for access to monies from the fund.

I hope that this gets sorted. I am a fan of the track, not of the owners. I will be there for the race next month and might just have to source myself some #34 shirts.

You idiots!
In the modern world of business there are two types of people, (Greed Whores) those who think there is a limited amount of wealth so they want as much as they can get and screw everybody else, and those who think there is an abundance so the more everybody else makes the more they'll make as well. it seems the greed whores are running CotA. CotA seems to be doing what sh*thead companies and governments do, spewing lies over and over until they become truths while they go forward doing business as usual. it's great to see a man refuse to lay down and take it. In a state that is known for strait talking, honest, friendly people it's a drag to see.
Admit your screw up, open the door to Kevin, cut him back into his deal and let's get back to it. You'll still make a boatload of money.
Someone should be silk screening #34 / screw CotA t-shirts up right now. It'd be a damn shame if all the riders came down with the flu on race weekend because without riders, like Kevin, what you've got down there is parking lot. Which brings me to another point - CotA, thanks for shutting your doors to track day companies and screwing them over as well.
Who's is the PR genius down there?
Laguna Seca here I come

[Editor's Note: worst obscenities removed, mainly to ensure that the site doesn't get blocked by prurient corporate firewalls. All replaced/edited words in italics.]

Sadly, I believe that Kevin is playing this game all wrong. I am not saying he is in the wrong regarding the leagal battle, just that participating in this public pissing match will hurt him in the long run.

1. He should not participate to begin with. let the matter be sorted out in the courtroom. If he is emerges victorious, his fans will love him all the more.
2. If he is going to sling mud, do it well. Timing is important. Release comments like this when they will have the greatest impact, like the Thursday or Friday preceeding the MotoGP race weekend.
3. Have a professional write the statements.

The public nastiness is bad publicity for the sport. It's like watching a bitter Hollywood divorce. It belongs behind closed doors.

How can you say that Kevin Schwantz is "playing this game all wrong" when the opinion of race fans and the race media is near unanimous in favor of KS#34? He must be doing something right. The beauty of Kevin Schwantz is that he is NOT what you would like him to be. His comments aren't measured, they are not strategic, they are not calculated or timed, they aren't slick or professionally written but they are sincere, genuine and passionate. This isn't a game to #34. Kevin had a vision to bring MotoGP to his home state of TX. He and his business worked hard to achieve that goal. COTA initially welcomed his effort but now COTA is trying to cut him out of the picture so they can increase their profits (follow the money). IMO, if anyone is giving racing a black-eye, it's COTA.

"How can you say that Kevin Schwantz is "playing this game all wrong" when the opinion of race fans and the race media is near unanimous in favor of KS#34?"

You are correct that the media and fans are currently in favor of KS34. My point is twofold. One is that IF the public mudslinging gets ugly, and lasts too long, KS34 MAY accidentally damage his own image. I hope it does not happen, but often times after a long nasty battle, both Parties appear to be a villain.

Example: Casey Stoner gained the image of being a whiner. 99.9% of the time his complaints were legitimate and valid, yet some/many people branded him as a moaner. Why did that happen? Because he spoke his mind (made negative comments) in public.

Second is the "Legal Game". As you mentioned, he shoots from the hip. Which is great for fans and media. But when you are involved in multi-million dollar litigation, it might serve him well to say "I have no comment at this time." My recommendation that he have a professional write his media comments is simply for his own protection. His attorney should have already advised him to say nothing publicly. I'd hate to see him hurt his own case.

...that KS went into this assuming goodwill and straight shooting from all parties involved, when if he had assumed that everybody and anybody was possibly out to screw him in any way they conceivably could, and paid a lot more lawyers a lot more money up front to vet the contracts and cover all the angles so that the COTA owners wouldn't have believed for even a moment they could get away with shafting him, then...

...the deal would probably never have got done in the first place, because in certain business circles, if you aren't screwing somebody over in a deal, it's just not worth doing.

I'd say a great thing to do if you were American, would be to go to Austin, stay in a hotel there, and have a MotoGP watching party in a nearby sports bar (COTA don't get money from the TV rights). Maybe buy some Kevin Schwantz/**** COTA merchandise. Just don't go to the track, don't buy their branded merchandise and don't give them your hard-earned.

If they go bankrupt, the track will still be there for somebody else to own & run...

How is it possible that this post only has 10 comments?
If this was a post about he difference in talent between Rossi and Stoner there would be 30 people chiming in even though it would all be opinion, conjecture and mud slinging.
I think it's fair to say that these documents clearly show the people running CotA to be lying and totally screwing over one of the great rider / personalities this sport has ever seen and they are apparently smart to think that if they just keep their heads down and push forward that this would blow over.
Don't let that happen. Comment. Vote. Share. Post it everywhere.

I don't know if commenting makes any difference (you are right sharing should) ... but here is mine :)

In any case Cota won't see my money, nothing. That, for me, is the most powerful action, and all my friends are on the same page.

Briga and others have the right idea. All companies care about the bottom line. As such if people don't turn up to that is the statement that will hurt COTA the most. Unfortunately, it may well hurt the sport we love too. Seeing a field of #34 T shirts would send a signal but probably change little. Herein lies the problem with individuals fighting a modern company. They have more power, more money, more influence and huge PR departments & budgets. Even with seemingly conclusive evidence is presented they will till attempt to spread their version of the 'truth'. I wish Kevin Schwantz all the luck but suspect the best for which he can hope is, perhaps, some out of court settlement with gagging clause- the standard 'buying them off'. Leaving him in the unenviable position as to decide whether he wants or needs to re-coup costs or be proven correct. Sadly, very hard to get both. Let's hope his fighting spirit prevails.

Dave,
Do you have and pics of #34 in his prime you could run along with this article?

I don't have a picture archive, and I can't afford to sign up for something I wouldn't use much.